Government And Opposition MPs Must Muster Courage To Face Contentious Issues Without Fear Or Favour

Dear Editorial,

As I listened to the President’s address to Parliament at its opening on Monday, I can’t help but was drawn to the part where she mentioned that Singaporeans “desire for more diverse voices to be heard, and stronger checks and balances”.

I can’t help but differ from those views as I don’t quite get the PAP’s meaning from crafting this portion of Mdm Halimah’s speech? Does it mean that Singaporeans have previously not considered checks and balances to be an integral part of our political system up to now? Does this also mean setting up an ombudsman like most other first countries to check on the other 3 branches for abuse?

If so, then why does the government continue to stifle an inquiry into the damning allegations of abuse of power by the PM and has still not visited this nagging issue by holding a proper query and summoning the accusers to give an account of their vast allegations once for all? If the accusers are found to be lying, they must surely be taken to task to demonstrate absolutely no one is above the law.

Otherwise, the charges brought against the TOC editors will be called into disrepute and the entire proceedings will become a sham for the world to see! It will definitely call into question, the integrity of our public officials especially when all who handled the case received promotions in anticipation of the trial? We cannot just move on like this, knowing that the head of government emerged relatively unscathed by holding a supermajority in Parliament while the Aljunied MPs who similarly, won resoundingly are still being hounded by the Courts!

The government must in likewise fashion, give an account into the corrupt case of Keppel and update the public of the actions taken to restore Singapore’s damaged international prestige of incorruptibility. By making a few insignificant take the rap while the top gets away Scot free is not reflective of the speech on Monday. As Prof Walter Woon puts it: “if LKY was still around, everyone involved would have been prosecuted!”

Until and when both the President and Speaker of Parliament are prepared to walk their motherhood talks and Opposition MPs are able to muster enough courage to thump through contentious issues without fear or favour, the next 4-5 years will be a replica of post-2011 where the PAP will rebuild its lost momentum and regain it by the next election, regressing all gains that were supposedly made this round.

Moving forward, the PSP and SDP must distinguish themselves from the 2 main democratic socialist parties if they want to captivate the hearts of people for the saying goes: “Communism proposes to enslave men by force, Socialism by vote, It is merely the difference between murder and suicide!”

Pearly Tan

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